A Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority generation unit was successfully energized in June for the first time as part of the Authority’s ongoing St. Thomas Randolph Harley Power Plant New Generation Project.
Unit 5 is one of four new Wärtsilä generators being placed into service at the St. Thomas Randolph Harley Power Plant.
The project, which will see the introduction of four additional energy efficient Wärtsilä generators and a battery energy storage system to the St. Thomas Randolph Harley Power Plant, is slated for completion in August 2023 operating initially on diesel, with operation on propane to follow shortly thereafter.
Completely funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the generators will enhance the Territory’s fuel resilience as the generators can operate on either propane or diesel.
In addition, they will deliver high energy efficiency, given that the generators are approximately 30% more efficient than the Authority’s older generators. This will reduce fuel consumption and fuel costs.
Additionally, the new generators can rapidly respond to changes in the Authority’s power generation and maintain grid reliability, allowing for optimal performance, even during times when energy demand is high throughout the territory.
This is further assisted by the BESS “because the BESS acts like a large shock absorber on the electric system helping to buffer disruptions on the system,” the Authority said.